Last Updated on 2022-10-10 by bnslay
Weights are an excellent way to get in shape, but they’re not always easy to set up at home. Most houses don’t have a place to store weights, and even if you do have the space, you might not want to use it for that purpose.
If you’re looking for a way to add resistance training into your exercise routine without making any major changes to the space in your home, we’ve got some good news for you! These exercises can be done using just your body weight and some household items, so all you need is a place where you can stand or sit comfortably without worrying about falling over or damaging anything.
Right here on Buy and Slay, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on weight lifting for weight loss female plan at home, beginner strength training routine for weight loss at home, dumbbell workout for belly fat, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.
At Home Weights Workout For Weight Loss
Experts agree that if you want to lose weight and build muscle, you need to strength train, aiming for at least three weightlifting workouts a week. The best weightlifting exercises for losing body fat are the ones that recruit large muscles and work multiple muscles at one time, known as compound exercises. “These exercises burn more calories because more muscles are working,” CSCS-certified trainer and registered dietitian Audra Wilson says. “There will also be a more significant afterburn than with isolation exercises.”
These moves stimulate more muscles and burn more calories per rep, which translates to more muscle gained and more fat lost, explains NASM-certified trainer Eric Bowling. And since you’re working multiple muscle groups on each move, compound moves are more time efficient, so you don’t need to spend hours in the gym, he says. With all of that in mind, we gathered up the most effective strength-training exercises for weight loss.
One note before you get started: for all of these moves, ACSM-certified personal trainer Kekua Kobashigawa recommends, “You should begin with bodyweight only to learn proper movement.” You can progress to weights after you’ve nailed the form and built up some foundational strength. This way, you’ll “develop functional strength that transfers to daily life,” Kobashigawa explains. This can also decrease your risk of injury, which is higher with compound movements because you’re using multiple muscle groups at once, Bowling notes. Remember that you can always consult a trainer to ensure your form is on point.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Squat
The squat is one of the most recommended strength-training exercises for weight loss. Weighted squats call upon all of the lower-body muscles and recruit some back and abdominal muscles for support, Wilson says. “These exercises burn more calories because more muscles are working.”
Begin with bodyweight squats, then you can add dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell as you progress. Here’s how to do a barbell front squat:
- Start with an unweighted or loaded barbell. Beginners should start with just the barbell, gradually adding weight as they become familiar with the movement. More advanced squatters can start with a weight they know they can comfortably handle. (Remember: You can always add more weight during the next set if it felt too easy.)
- Position your hands about shoulder-width apart on the barbell and lightly grip the bar.
- Rest the bar on your clavicle and shoulders as you lift your elbows up. Your elbows should go as high as your mobility allows.
- With your feet about hip-distance apart, lift the barbell off the rack. Take 1 to 2 steps backward.
- Shift your weight back onto your heels. Brace your abs as you begin to lower into a squat, keeping your head and back straight. Your knees should be as close to 90 degrees as possible.
- With your core still braced, drive through your heels to stand back up. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of your squat.
- That’s one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Deadlift
ACE-certified trainer Christian Koshaba, owner of Three60Fit, calls the deadlift “a fantastic, dynamic movement.” Though simple, “a deadlift engages your whole body, including all major muscle groups: glutes, hamstrings, quads, and the entire chain of back muscles,” Koshaba says. If you don’t have access to a barbell, you can do deadlifts with dumbbells or a kettlebell. Whatever weight you use, focus on form first with light weights, then gradually increase the weight as you’re ready.
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Push your butt back as you bend your knees, grasping the barbell with your hands just outside the hips, with the shoulders slightly in front of the bar. Have both palms facing you, or if it feels more comfortable (or you’re lifting very heavy), turn one palm facing out. Keep your back straight, not curved or arched. Your chest should be parallel with the floor.
- Stand up, raising the hips and shoulders at the same time, lifting the barbell off the floor so the bar moves over the middle of both feet.
- Keep the heels down and make sure to fully extend the hips and knees to straighten the legs. That’s one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Walking Lunge
ACE-certified trainer Rachel MacPherson recommends lunges to help with weight loss. You can do them in place by stepping one foot forward and then stepping back to the starting position or make it harder by doing walking lunges. “Walking lunges use unilateral training to increase your heart rate and increase metabolism for weight loss,” MacPherson says. “The continuous walking motion used for walking lunges makes them more of an efficient fat burner than regular lunges.”
- Stand upright, feet together, holding dumbbells at your side. Take a controlled step forward with your left leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles. Your back knee should point toward but not touch the ground, and your front knee should be directly over your ankle.
- Press your left heel into the ground, and push off with your right foot to bring your right leg forward, stepping with control into a lunge on the other side.
- That’s one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Split Squat
Different than lunges, split squats involve standing in a split position as you lower and raise the hips, really firing up the lower body.
Bowling says this is a great alternative to back squats because you’re able to target the lower body efficiently without risk of injury to the back. “When done correctly, your legs will fail before your lower back does,” Bowling says. Adding a shoulder press to the split squat works the upper body and core as well, making this a total-body exercise.
- Holding the dumbbells at your shoulders with your palms facing forward, take a big step backward with the left foot.
- Bend your knees to lower the rear knee toward the floor, making 90-degree angles with both legs.
- Straighten both legs as you press the weights up toward the ceiling.
- That’s one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Kettlebell Swing
The kettlebell swing is a full-body movement that uses core, leg, and glute strength to create momentum and swing a kettlebell, MacPherson explains. Your heart rate will increase quickly because the motion is continuous, she adds, which will help you burn more calories.
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly pointing out. Squat down, and pick up a kettlebell with both hands. Allow it to hang between your legs.
- With a flat back and your core engaged, inhale to bend your knees and push your butt back. Your weight should be back on your heels so your knees are in line with your toes.
- Keep your core engaged and arms straight. On an exhale, press into your feet, squeezing your legs and glutes as you aggressively explode up, extending through your hips and legs to stand, which drives the kettlebell overhead. If you have mobility issues in the shoulders or lower back or an injury, do a Russian kettlebell swing instead, where the bell only raises to shoulder height.
- Inhale, and with control, come back to the starting position, allowing the kettlebell to swing back between your legs.
- That’s one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Push-Up
Push-ups are “great for building muscles in your arms and stabilizing your core,” says Stephanie Blozy, an exercise-science expert and the owner of the Fleet Feet store in West Hartford, CT. She suggests starting push-ups with your knees resting on the floor and moving up to a classic push-up with straight legs.
- Begin in a plank position with the arms and body straight, shoulders over the wrists. Keep the core engaged.
- Bend the elbows behind you and lower your chest to the floor. Keep your upper arms tight to your body so your elbows are against your ribs on both sides.
- Straighten the arms, coming back to plank position.
- This counts as one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Pull-Up
Pull-ups and chin-ups, the ultimate upper-body moves, will work your lats, upper back, arms, and core, Bowling says. Doing a pull-up requires you to “maintain some form of thoracic extension throughout the movement, getting the back involved,” he adds. If you can’t do a strict pull-up, use a band to assist you or do ring rows instead.
- Place a large resistance band securely around a pull-up bar. A band with more resistance will provide you with more assistance to pull yourself up.
- Stand on a stable object (such as a bench or plyo box), and grip the pull-up bar. With one hand, place the band around the arch of your shoe. Fully extend the banded leg.
- With a neutral spine and your core engaged, pull yourself up. The band will provide you with momentum to lift your body up.
- Lower back down to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Bench Press
Bowling calls the bench press “the king of pressing movements” because so many muscles are recruited to perform a single rep. Whether using dumbbells or a barbell, a proper bench press requires the legs to get involved. “As you press the weight away from you, your legs are actively driving the floor down as hard as possible,” Bowling explains, making this a full-body movement.
- Grab a set of dumbbells and sit on a flat workout bench.
- With one dumbbell in each hand resting on your thighs, lie back onto the bench.
- Hold the dumbbells above your chest, arms straight over shoulders, palms facing away from your face.
- Inhale and lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest with control, creating a 90-degree angle between your upper arm and forearm.
- Exhale as you push the dumbbells up, fully extending your arms.
- That’s one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Glute Bridge With Chest Press
“This is another one of those exercises that involves every single muscle in the body, mainly the glutes, pectorals (chest muscles), and core,” says ACSM-certified trainer Raquel Santos. This compound movement allows you to build muscle in your hamstrings and glutes while also targeting your chest and shoulders.
“Besides increasing your metabolic burn by being a great compound movement, the glute bridge itself is a very important movement for building strength in the posterior chain and preventing/alleviating lower-back and knee pain,” she adds.
- Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-distance apart. Hold weights by your chest.
- Squeeze your glutes as you push your pelvis toward the ceiling, coming into a bridge. Keep your ribs aligned with your pelvis.
- Holding the bridge, press the weights to the ceiling directly above your shoulders.
- Lower the weights to your chest without dropping your hips. That’s one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Thruster
Santos is a fan of the thruster because it combines squatting and vertical pushing, using nearly every muscle to perform it correctly. “The squat alone involves every lower-body muscle from the low back to the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and even the calves,” she says. “Adding in the overhead press utilizes a bunch of upper-body muscles with a focus on the shoulders and the core.”
- Stand with your legs just slightly wider than hip-distance apart, arms raised to shoulder height with elbows bent, holding weights by your ears.
- Hinge at the hips and bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair.
- Press into feet to straighten your legs and return to standing, using the momentum to press the dumbbells overhead, weights directly above shoulders. That’s one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Renegade Row
The renegade row is an awesome exercise that utilizes the entire core, as well as the back and biceps, Santos explains. “For beginners, I recommend starting with your knees down and light or medium weights.”
- Start in high plank with feet wider than shoulders, each hand holding onto a dumbbell that’s resting on the floor.
- Pull right elbow back, raising dumbbell toward chest, keeping right elbow close to torso, core engaged, and hips and chest facing down.
- Lower the weight and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.
Weightlifting Exercises For Weight Loss: Dumbbell Box Step-Up
“Step-ups are another great exercise to strengthen your legs and stabilize your core and lower-back muscles,” Blozy says.
Begin with a small step, then gradually work up to a 20- or 30-inch box. When you’re ready, intensify the move by adding weight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your side or a kettlebell or two at your chest. “Not only will your quads burn, but your heart rate will also accelerate and sweat will pour,” Blozy says.
- Find a sturdy bench, wooden box, or chair that allows your knee to be at about a 90-degree angle or larger when you place your foot squarely on it.
- Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand by your side (or, for a more advanced version, in the front rack position at your shoulders).
- Step your right foot onto the box, then your left, so both feet are on top of the box.
- Softly step the right foot back to the ground, then the left.
- That’s one rep. Repeat leading with the opposite side.
Diet Is Also Important
It’s imperative to note that although exercise plays a role in weight loss, it can be difficult to lose weight with exercise alone, registered dietitian Emily Tills said in a June 2019 interview. In order to lose weight sustainably, Tills recommends eating a balanced diet, which can support weight loss and maintenance.
Aim to get all three macros — protein, carbs, and healthy fats — in each meal. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. To find an exact eating plan that works for you, including how many calories to eat in a day, speak with a registered dietitian.